Coming out as an Iranian atheist

My deconversion was not an overnight process, just like others. However, I reached a point in my life which I could not tolerate Islam or any other religion anymore. So I started my deconversion.

When I was a child I was exposed to a paradox. On one side were my parents, siblings and relatives, and on the other side was the outside world, the government, media, school, common people. Islam almost had no place in our home. My mom never wore hijab at home, although she had to wear it outside. My family never said prayers or read Quran, except for occasions during Ramadan when my mom used to do the rituals.  However, in the outside world, everything was different. I was exposed to Islam indoctrination. At school, they gave us prizes for saying prayers, and frightened us from Hell and God’s wrath. So I grew up believing the outside world and seeing that my family were going to Hell. So I prayed every night! to save my parents! I was a 9 year old boy, and not that bright.

Anyway, I grew up and my faith out of fear started to fade. I started reading Kafka and Camus, and started listening to Metallica! Then, faith became an unfamiliar word for me. I doubted everything. By 18, I was a total agnostic atheist, although nobody knew.

Later in the university, I felt like a rebel. I needed to go against everything. And I did! I educated myself. So that you know, in Iran, even in undergraduate years, we study Islamic subjects as general subjects which must be passed and have a great impact on our overall. I failed most of them at least one. I remember failing Islamic Ethics twice! just because I didn’t believe in what they believed. Later, I was arrested and in the prison I lost my last drops of faith. When I came out, I was a new man. A man who has never again believed in a supreme being. I felt anew, I felt free and I improved in every aspect of my life.

Although, I had never come out as an atheist only until recently. The only reason was fear! I was afraid of Iranian Government. As you probably already know, deconversion/conversion is treated by capital punishment in Islamic Republic of Iran. You’ll be fine as long as no one knows but stating it publicly and writing about it as I am now, would get me in trouble.

Coming out feels great! I am telling everyone, and I get mixed responses, but that only motivates me to go forward.

So, if anybody is out there who is doubtful of coming out. I would highly recommend you to come out and state it publicly. However, if it puts you in risk, be patient. You will find your window of opportunity.

Published by

Maz Bozorgi

I’m an Iranian born linguist/language teacher/ atheist.

10 thoughts on “Coming out as an Iranian atheist”

  1. Congratulations on seeing your way out of religion. Mine happened in a Catholic high school.

    And btw, the origin of Hell and the Devil comes from Zoroastrianism which originated in Persia which I know is now Iran.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Getting free from all brain washing and to think for yourself is good in my opinion. But remember, coming out of one brain washing and accepting another brainwashing is not good. Also, to seek truth is good but in speaking truth, there is no need to become a martyr for truth. Truth is an internal matter, which means to be honest to yourself and to not to lie to yourself. I have seen so many people to come out of their religions and then to accept some other false secular ideology.
    Good Luck.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. I understand. However, I think that speaking the truth in a country such as Iran automatically makes you a martyr for truth. In an individualistic society, it’s true, but in Iran.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Maz B,

        Yes, I agree. It is sad indeed. But really it applies to all countries. Some truths are allowed to be spoken in one society but not in another society and vice versa. Different truths are forbidden in different societies.

        Liked by 1 person

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